Dryland Agriculture in Kenya: Gendered risks, Vulnerabilities and Research Gaps

Abstract: 
The drylands of Kenya that comprise of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) make up about 80% of the total land area and support approximately 30% of the population, mainly pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. They are home to most of wildlife and other resources including minerals, precious stones, building materials, sources of energy and medicinal herbs. Although they contribute about 5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), this is mainly through livestock production, implying that their potential is far from full exploitation. Hence, many resources lie unexploited in the midst of great want. The agricultural activities in these areas are mainly pastoralism and dryland farming that are challenged by weather variability and poorly developed ‘bazaar’ among other factors. Indeed, the livelihood options come with great risks that largely take socio-economic dimensions. In particular, gendered risks present much vulnerability to both men and women with varied consequences on both. This paper examines these risks and vulnerabilities from a gender perspective.
Les terres sèches du Kenya, qui comprennent des terres arides et semi-arides (ASAL), représentent environ 80% de la superficie totale des terres et soutiennent environ 30% de la population, principalement des éleveurs et agro-éleveurs. Elles abritent beaucoup plus la faune et d’autres ressources, y compris les minéraux, les pierres précieuses, les matériaux de construction, les sources d’énergie et les herbes médicinales. Bien qu’elles représentent environ 5% du produit intérieur brut (PIB), ceci est principalement grâce à la production du bétail, ce qui implique que leur potentiel est loin d’être en pleine exploitation. Par conséquent, de nombreuses ressources gisent inexploitées au milieu d’une grande pauvreté. Les activités agricoles dans ces zones sont principalement l’élevage etl’agriculture des terres arides qui sont remis en cause par la variabilité du climat et ont peu développé le bazar entre autres facteurs. En effet, les options des moyens de subsistance viennent avec de grands risques qui prennent largement des dimensions socio-économiques. En particulier, les risques liés au genre présentent beaucoup de vulnérabilité aux hommes ainsi qu’aux femmes, avec des conséquences diverses sur les deux sexes. L’essentiel de cet article est d’identifier ces risques et les vulnérabilités dans une perspective liée au genre.
Language: 
Extended abstracts submitted under Risk and Vulnerability
Date of publication: 
2012
Country: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
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Collection: 
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
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Form: 
Printed resource
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The 2012 RUFORUM Biennial Conference is the third in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholers in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. The third Biennial Conference was attended by 657 participants.This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Risk and Vulnerability